August 10, 2014
In the New Testament we read about “congregations of Christ.” Paul wrote to the brothers and sisters in Rome and said, “Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the congregations of Christ greet you.” (Romans 16: 16) Through the years many people have believed and taught that the Holy Spirit through Paul was giving a “name” to the Lord’s people. He wasn’t. He was indicating their relationship to the Lord. Two things will help understand this fact: Drop the word “church” and think in terms of a “congregation,” and take note of the word “of.” It is a preposition and bridges the relationship between the congregations and Christ.
What is a congregation of Christ?
It is a group of people that belong to the Lord. They were purchased or acquired through the blood of Christ. Jesus’ blood was shed on the old rugged cross of Calvary for the sins of the world. (Acts 20:28; 1 Peter 1:18-20) The people that constitute a congregation of Christ were sinners who are saved by grace (which means favor) and rich mercy of God. (Ephesians 2:4,5,8,9)
A congregation of Christ is a group of people who are Christians. They are followers of Christ. They are his disciples. They are not followers of Martin Luther, John Wesley, the pope of Rome, or any other mere human being. They are followers of the Son of God. He was crucified for them and they were immersed into his name. (1 Corinthians 1: 12-15)
Their allegiance is to Jesus the Messiah.
A congregation of Christ is a group of people who worship God in spirit and truth. (John 4:23-24) They do not worship by the laws of the Old Testament. The Old Testament has been removed and is no longer binding as a code of laws for people living today. (Galatians 3:23-25) The New Testament is the body of teaching that is binding today, and we worship the way it instructs. Jesus died for the New Covenant. (Matthew 26:28)